I cannot stress the importance of speaking to your living relatives NOW before it’s too late. In my genealogy course I taught, that was practically my first tip to my students and right now, I’m truly needing to practice what I preach. My dad suffered a stroke last week and while he is expected to fully recover, for a while he was missing time, could not remember his only great-granddaughter, nor her name. He thought for a bit that he was still working at the place he worked at when I was a kid… so he was missing about 30 years there for a few days. It’s coming back to him and even today I quizzed him on a few relatives I had planned on doing an interview with him in October when I’m there for my daughter’s wedding but now, it’s even more pressing for me to make sure I ask absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted to know before it’s too late.
It’s been said that when you see a cardinal, it means that a loved one that has passed is visiting you. Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my grandparents Glenn Archer & Clara Lou Peters Stewart for some reason. We’re from Ohio where the cardinal is the state bird and though I’m not exactly sure what made them collect them, my grandparent’s house was filled to the brim with cardinal knickknacks. They even had a large one painted on their garage door. Ever since buying our house two years ago here in New York, there has been a large family of cardinals in our backyard and every time I see one of them, I immediately think about my grandparents… but particularly her for some reason as of late.